Last Week the Scene featured a fine piece in the super special summer pull-out on the impending World Cup
. The local angle is cool, however, it will not sufficiently prepare you for the upcoming friendly our US World Cup squad will play here in Nashville tonight, nor the Cup itself. Many around this part of the world may not care, but get this: the US team is ranked number 5 in the world. Since we tend to only support winners, here's your chance to get on the bandwagon now.
Here's my short take on some names you need to know if you want to look like an expert.
DeMarcus Beasley ֠midfielder (the guy who has to play offense AND defense, distribute the ball to the scorers and stop the attack of the opposing team). I thought Beasley would not amount to much on the international scene. At 5' 8" and 145 pounds he seemed way too slight. He's proven me wrong, at least until last year. He plays with a top club in the Netherlands and is incredibly fast and very skillful on the ball. He didn't have a great year last year, however he's very important to the team.
Claudio Reyna ֠midfielder. It seems like he's been on the squad forever. The diminutive midfielder has been proven durable and a team leader and accurate passer. Many called on him to lead US soccer out of the basement and into the world spotlight. He's done just that. He plays professionally for Manchester City, local rival and whipping boy of David Beckham's former squad Manchester United.
Brian McBride ֠striker (the scorer). He is the number 2 all time goal scorer in US international play. He's great in the air and at holding the ball, though not spectacular on the dribble. Plays professionally for Fullham in England.
Landon Donovan ֠striker. Very quick with a good nose for scoring, and "running to space" (like a wide receiver getting open). Donovan was good enough to sign with a professional club in Germany at age 16, but decided to play in the states. Some believe he is the best American born player ever.
Kasey Keller ֠goalkeeper. One of the best keepers in the world and has been so for years. Big, quick, great range, and great hands, he might have made a pretty good tight end in American football. Plays professionally in Germany.
Oguchi Onyewu ֠Defender. Very young and rough but possibly the best athlete on the team. There isn't a football manager in Europe who doesn't have their eye on this kid's progression.